Grant Guidelines

The HCTC provides grants to help support the tourism efforts in Hancock County. Grants can be awarded that will promote and encourage conventions, visitors, and tourism within Hancock County. The HCTC board meets monthly and grant money is awarded based on availability of funds on a first come, first serve basis. Grant applications will have the date and time received when using the online application process. Upon receipt if the documentation is correct and ready for HCTC review the grant application will be placed in the review process que. If for any reason it is returned to the requestor for incompleteness it will be placed back into the que based on the date and time it is received in a complete state and ready for HCTC action.

Grant Prerequisites

The following requirements must be met in order to be considered for the award of a Grant from the HCTC. The Grant Application must be completed providing as much information as possible in order to provide the HCTC with a clear understanding of how the monies will be utilized.

  • The grant must support a tourism project, event or activity.
    Grant monies are not to be used to provide salaries, or operating expenses.
  • HCTC support for a project, event or activity should not be considered a permanent funding source.
  • Projects, events or activities should strive to become self-supporting.
  • No later than 60 days after the completion of a project, event or activity you must present a Grant Report on the expenditure of funds provided by the HCTC.
  • Provide a budget for your project, event or activity to support the funds requested.
  • The HCTC requires you to utilize the tourism website to obtain the list of hotels, Air BnBs and local food and beverage businesses to enhance your event. This can be done by collaborating with these facilities to negotiate rooms and rates for vendors or attendees and promoting local restaurants.
  • You can submit supporting documents including details and data from past events regarding visitors and their origin. These should be submitted along with the grant application.
  • You will need to show how you are tracking out of county visitors. This can be done through surveying attendees, collecting zip codes from attendees, checking license plates, or collecting that information via registrations or guest registers. This information WILL BE REQUIRED for an end of project, event or activity report.
  • If you choose to bring any samples of items (advertising pieces, etc.) to the HCTC meeting please bring one copy for the Executive Director: no additional copies necessary for the Commission members.
  • Projects, events or activities are funded on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Commission.

Grant Submission

The completed Grant Application and any additional documentation MUST be submitted to the HCTC following the below process. The Grant Applications will be reviewed monthly by the HCTC at the regularly scheduled meeting.

In order to be placed on the agenda, your grant application and attachments, if applicable must be submitted to the HCTC by 6 PM EST on the last business day of the month preceding the next HCTC public meeting.

The requestor will be required to attend in person to present the grant application to the HCTC during a scheduled public meeting. Requestors may receive an email from the HCTC requesting additional information or a response to questions prior to the public meeting. This would assist in reducing the time required to present the Grant. It is imperative that the email address provided in the application is an address that is monitored on a regular basis.

Beginning in 2020, the HCTC requires all Grant Applications be submitted electronically utilizing the online application. If you need assistance preparing the Grant Application you may contact the HCTC Executive Director and set up a time to meet. A HANDWRITTEN APPLICATION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

The Executive Director will determine if the Grant Application is complete and ready for the HCTC meeting review. The Grant Application will be assigned a tracking number upon acceptance.

Upon submitting a Grant Application an immediate confirmation email will be received validating an application has been received. It also returns the completed application that should be retained in your email Inbox or another folder, so the application information is available when it is time to submit the Grant Report at the completion of your project, event or activity. Information from the application will be required on the report form during input using the online report form.

Grant Final Report

Within SIXTY (60) DAYS of the close of your project, event or activity you must provide a follow up report with receipts and documentation as to how the grant money was spent. HCTC recently upgraded the report process by developing and implementing an online report form. The ability to upload supporting documents with the report is available. If the HCTC desires an in-person report at a monthly meeting that will be communicated via email after receiving the report. The information submitted in the report may be enough and an in-person meeting may not be necessary. A HANDWRITTEN REPORT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

If the full amount of the grant money is not utilized, you must return all unspent money to the HCTC. This should be submitted via check and made out to Hancock County Tourism Commission and mailed or dropped off at the Tourism office.

Failure to complete a Final Grant Report and submit the necessary documentation could result in an organization being banned from receiving future tourism funds. Failure to supply the necessary receipts for these expenditures could require the return of funds that are not supported by appropriate documentation. These would be considered unspent funds.

If you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the HCTC Office at 317-477-8687. You can also email the office at The Executive Director, Brigette Cook Jones, will help you facilitate the grant process and answer any questions.

Grant Completion

An approved, executed and finalized Grant Application that has been reviewed by the HCTC and approved for permanent filing should include the following documents:

  • A complete Grant Application that includes the proper signatures
  • The completed Final Grant Report including all receipts and applicable documents related to the project, event or activity
  • A check from the receiver of the Grant for any unused funds, if applicable
  • The Grant Tracking Log is updated to reflect “Completed”

This Grant completion packet will be stored electronically in accordance with the HCTC storage process.